4 Ways to Get Fit Without a Pricey Gym Membership


One of the many struggles of being a student is staying fit on a small budget. Gym memberships are great if you have the cash to splash on, but the likelihood is that us students don’t. That’s not to say we can’t be active though. Often, gyms are overpriced and unlikely to accommodate to all of our needs anyway. So to help you get fit without breaking your bank account, we have 4 tips to get you on your way.

1. Cardio Workout

Running is one of the best ways to get fit. It can be done anytime of the day and needs no equipment. The list of benefits it has are endless, but some include:

  • weight loss
  • improves your heart and lungs
  • strengthens your joints
  • tones your legs and core

Running provides a great sense of well being. It can also be a time to think about any issues that are bothering you and create solutions.

I allow my run to become a space for reflection, exploration and mindfulness, to connect with the world around me

Sarah Attar, Olympic runner for Saudi Arabia

To keep you motivated the NHS provides a free podcast for beginners called C25K. This program involves running three days a week with a break in between each day, It also has a different plan for each of the nine weeks (you will be less likely to get bored). Try influencing your friends to come with you, some competition never hurt anyone.

2. Cheap and Useful Equipment

The bonus of having a gym membership is the equipment that they provide. Although, you can still achieve the same level of fitness with a few materials.

 A Workout Mat: can help you to stay comfortable while doing sits ups, planks, crunches and any floor activities. At Sports Direct prices start from £8.75. Or, save money by laying a rug or blanket on the floor. This will prevent any nasty carpet burn!

Weights: why not make some DIY weights. All you need to do is fill an old milk jug with water or sand. You can then use this for bicep curls, shoulder raises and any other arm work outs.

Skipping rope: jumping at a moderate rate can burn between 10 – 16 calories a minute! It’s easy, fun and only costs around £3.

Use what is available to improve your fitness. A lot of parks and recreation centres have outdoor equipment that anyone can use.  Also, the furniture around your house can become useful gym equipment. For example, placing your hands on the edge of your bed or table to do dips, strengthens your arms and core.

3. Free Online Videos

The wide range of websites online can help you to get fit through different workout plans.

SweatyBetty offers a range of diverse videos from intense boot camp to yoga to ballet. It is an easy way of getting the blood pumping and fitting it into your routine. Also, another benefit is that an instructor shows you how to do the moves  properly helping you to get the most out of your workout.

Fitness Blender allows you to search for specific videos that are tailored to your needs. You do this by entering a few simple fields. This can be how long you want your workout to be, how many calories you want to burn, what difficulty level you want, your body focus, the training type and the equipment that you want to use.

I also recommend typing into YouTube what you are specifically looking for as they have thousands of videos to help you get fit. You don’t have to pay a silly amount of money for a personal trainer. Take advantage of the free videos that let you workout from the comfort of your own home!


4. Group Fitness

The university offers a range of group classes that start from only £2.50 a session. These sessions are great if you have any breaks in the day to fit in a short class. The sessions focus on:

  • Relax and Recovery
  • Spinning
  • Cardio and Conditioning
  • Muscle Toning
  • Fighting Fitness

Also, there are campus sports like badminton, tennis, basketball, netball and so much more. To find out more information head to the SportBU website.

Don’t let your small budget get in the way of your fitness, there are so many ways to get fit for free. To achieve your goals all you need to do is work hard and stay motivated!